2022 In Review: The Stories You May Have Missed

2022 In Review: The Stories You May Have Missed

These stories from the previous year of Poets&Quants coverage deserve a second look

We write a lot of stories. Poets&Quants covers every aspect of graduate business education, on every continent — and that means not only the data-based stories that our readers rely on, but the human interest side, too: stories of achievement against long odds, of exceptional ability, of hard circumstances, and of thriving against the odds. We profile B-schools big and small, and the students, deans, professors, and others who make them run.

In 2022, war in Ukraine formed the backdrop of many such stories — see our Favorite MBAs of 2022 and collected stories of scandals and tragedies from the past year for many of them — but as always we cast our net wide, enjoying the inspiration of those in many other walks of life, too.

We write a lot of stories, and we wish we could write more. While we turn our focus to 2023, here are some stories from the past year that didn’t get the attention they deserved. We know that if you take the time to read them you’ll be glad you did.

What It’s Like To Run A B-School In A War Zone

2022 In Review: The Stories You May Have MissedSpeaking to Poets&Quants from Kyiv in March, Tymofiy Mylovanov, president of the Kyiv School of Economics, said KSE has undertaken seven big projects for Ukraine’s government since the war began — though he could only talk publicly about two of them, as the others involved intelligence gathering, supply chain and security assessments, and various other sensitive assignments. Many of the school’s analysts and researchers have been working in such capacities, Mylovanov says; many others are out fighting the Russians. Naturally, the school’s normal class schedule has been disrupted, but “we are operational,” Mylovanov insisted. “Those guys don’t want to study yet because they’re all fighting or doing something else,” he said.

The first of KSE’s two publicly announced initiatives began early in the war that started with Russia’s invasion February 24. Coordinating with Ukrainian businesses and state-owned companies, the school launched a humanitarian aid campaign to provide food, medicine, and transportation for refugees who already were moving en masse westward, and whose numbers have only swelled in the days since. The campaign has simultaneously collected first aid and protective gear for emergency services personnel and Ukrainian Territorial Defense Forces — “to shield them,” the B-school announced, “against Russian aggression.” Through the first week of March 2022 KSE raised $5.9 million of a $10 million goal, enough for 5,400 first aid kits, 3,540 helmets, and 4,000 survival kits, among other equipment.

“I appeal to the rest of the free world for which we are fighting now — support us with resources, stand with Ukraine,” Mylovanov said.

The P&Q Interview: Dominique Turpin, CEIBS’ European President

2022 In Review: The Stories You May Have Missed

Dominique Turpin was named the new president of CEIBS’ European campus in September 2022.

China Europe International Business School was in coronavirus lockdown with the rest of Shanghai, population 26 million, off and on for more than a year. Only toward the end of 2022 were some of the strictest restrictions lifted.

But even as its home city coped with a heavy-handed government lockdown that sparked mass protests and economic malaise, CEIBS had an advantage that its peers in Shanghai, Beijing, and the rest of China did not: a campus in Europe, away from the fray, where students could study their MBA or EMBA or other degrees.

CEIBS’s Zurich, Switzerland campus seemed like even more of an advantage when it was announced in September that the B-school had named a new European president with a sterling academic pedigree and long ties to Switzerland. Dominique Turpin spent 25 years as a professor of marketing at IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland, including six years as its president and dean from 2010 to 2016. He is perhaps the definition of a “steady hand on the tiller”: A recognized authority on brand management, customer centricity, marketing strategy, and Asian business strategy, Turpin has been a member of CEIBS’ Academic Council since the school’s establishment in 1994.

Turpin, who holds a Ph.D. in economics from Sophia University in Japan and a master’s from ESSCA in France, took over as CEIBS’ European president amid the seemingly endless China lockdown, making it impossible until recently for him to visit the school’s Shanghai campus or meet with his Chinese counterpart. But that was not his only challenge. Replacing Dipak Jain, the former dean of Northwestern Kellogg School of Management who had served as CEIBS’ European leader since 2018, Turpin’s tenure began amid sharp criticism for the school’s handling of international students during coronavirus — in particular the role played by the Zurich campus.

Women At The Leading U.S. & Global MBA Programs: Why The Numbers Keep Rising

2022 In Review: The Stories You May Have MissedWhen the Forté Foundation was founded in 2002, MBA programs at the leading business schools averaged less than 28% women — a problem thrown into sharp relief by comparison with law schools and medical schools, which had largely already achieved gender parity.

Twenty years later, the nonprofit dedicated to advancing women in graduate business education reports that a record 17 of its 56 member schools have reached at least 45% women enrolled in full-time MBA programs, up from 10 schools in 2021, two in 2017 and none in 2012. Poets&Quants‘ analysis of the class profiles at the leading U.S. B-schools shows that 15 have 40% or more women in their MBA programs, with 11 of the top 27 schools seeing progress from 2021 to 2022 — and 19 reporting growth in the number of women in the six MBA cohorts since 2017.

Celebrating Working Mothers: The Kellogg MBA Changing African Women’s Lives 

2022 In Review: The Stories You May Have Missed

Sahar Jamal, left, at work in Nairobi. Courtesy photo

Sahar Jamal’s mission is to empower mothers so they don’t have to choose between a career and their family.

Jamal’s Kenya-based company, Maziwa, offers the first ever custom-made breast pump in East Africa, designed to help women balance working and breastfeeding. Maziwa caters to women in developing markets.

Since Poets&Quants spoke with Jamal in 2021, the 2019 Northwestern Kellogg MBA’s company has made significant steps forward: The company’s hired six part-time employees in Kenya and two technical contractors in Chicago, launched the Wema breast pump in August 2021, and expanded the product to South Africa in January 2022, with plans to grow across the continent.

‘From A War Zone To An MBA’: Stanford Students Successfully Deliver Equipment To Ukraine

2022 In Review: The Stories You May Have Missed

Stanford MBA student Alex Clark

When Russia began its invasion of Ukraine in February, Stanford MBA students Andrei Molchynsky and Alex Clark wanted to help.

The two built a team and, cutting their summer breaks short, flew to Hungary and drove nearly 2,000 miles to deliver ambulances and encrypted communication devices to Kryvyi Rih, a city of just under 650,000 struggling to provide medical support for a flood of refugees. Kryvyi Rih is also Molchynsky’s hometown.

The mission became what is now known as Project Independence Day. While the journey was full of unknowns, snap decisions, and grave realities of a full-fledged war, the team successfully delivered two — soon to be three — vehicles and nearly 70 radios to the frontlines.

Through Her Family Business, This MBA Is Helping To Empower Women Refugees

2022 In Review: The Stories You May Have Missed

Hawa Sultani. Courtesy photo

When Hawa Sultani turned down medical school, she took a year off to do some serious soul searching.

Growing up as a first-generation Afghan immigrant in Queens, New York, Hawa’s dream had always been to help people like her. She had grown up without health insurance, and she wanted to help others get the care they needed. But after some experience in the healthcare industry, she realized that the inequities she wanted to fight were systemic.

“I learned that there are many larger factors at play in terms of why certain populations aren’t getting healthcare,” Hawa tells Poets&Quants.

A Stanford Survey Asks The Question: Do MBA Programs Care About Workers?

2022 In Review: The Stories You May Have Missed

Lucas Levine

In July, Bloomberg Beta’s Roy Bahat asserted that most business schools aren’t teaching “the most important, underrated CEO skill of the future” — leading an organized workforce. Based on my personal experience and research I conducted this spring during my final quarter in business school, he’s absolutely right. This post summarizes the results of my research, a survey of what MBA students think about labor unions.

During my MBA, the only courses that tackled labor issues were two electives in Human Resources. When other classes discussed workers, they tended to focus on how to hire and retain so-called “A players.” All other workers, it seemed, were expendable inputs, cost items in a P&L statement.

Sustainability, Buddhism & Travel: Thai B-School Creates ‘Culturally Nimble’ MBAs

2022 In Review: The Stories You May Have Missed

Ian Fenwick

Thailand may not be the first country that leaps to mind when the subject is graduate business education in Asia. Ian Fenwick believes that should change.

Fenwick, the director of Bangkok-based Chulalongkorn University’s Sasin School of Management, thinks Bangkok, Thailand’s capital city, is an ideal place in which to study. Not only does it have a sense of inclusiveness, it also has the infrastructure to support business — particularly digital business. The city was recently rated the second-best place for digital nomads next to Lisbon, Portugal.

Moreover, Thailand — and Southeast Asia as a whole — is considered an “untapped market,” according to JP Morgan: By 2030, the multinational investment banking giant reports, Southeast Asia is anticipated to add approximately 140 million new consumers. Even earlier, by 2025, the Internet economy in the region is expected to generate nearly $360 billion in gross manufactured value.

“Thailand is a tremendously entrepreneurial country,” Fenwick tells Poets&Quants. “It’s creative, dynamic, digital, and a great place to start a business.”

From Super Bowl Champ To IE-Brown MBA: The Journey of Jacques McClendon

2022 In Review: The Stories You May Have Missed

Jacques McClendon

Winning football doesn’t start on the field. Its foundation takes shape when organizations hire the right people who share the right values and commit to the right purpose. In essence, winning teams are the extension of consistent cultures that stretch from the locker room to the c-suite.

In the NFL, winning football is equated with talent and strategy: honing fundamentals and mastering playbooks, wearing down the line and outmaneuvering the coverage. Long before games are played, they are won and lost in a variety of other ways. That includes the 2022 Super Bowl Champion Los Angeles Rams. For example, the analytics team pinpoints opponent tendencies and situational odds to help coaches make the best decisions. The sports scientists develop protocols to minimize player wear-and-tear and maximize game reps. On the business side, the sales team packs the house, while the marketing team guards brand identity. Specific to the Rams, the Super Bowl run was fueled by a high risk strategy, where the front office stacked the roster with high-paid ringers thanks to their uncanny ability to build depth with low-cost young talents.

Most fans associate the Rams with elite talent like Aaron Darnold, Matthew Stafford, and Jalen Ramsey. Behind the scenes, you‘ll find another differentiator: Jacques McClendon. While his title is Director of Football Affairs, his role is really jack-of-all-trades — the diplomat who everyone trusts and the liaison who knows how everything runs. His job is to get everyone — players, coaches, scouts, accountants, sales reps, creatives — all on the same page. And his fingerprints are everywhere in the Rams organization, be it game day fan experience or international expansion planning.

How One Small British B-School Is Contributing To A More Sustainable Planet

2022 In Review: The Stories You May Have Missed

Sussex Dean Steven McGuire

Simply hoping for a sustainable future isn’t going to get us there. When it comes to tackling climate change, we need collective — not individual — effort.

That is where business schools come in, says Steven McGuire, dean of the University of Sussex Business School. They can equip students with the skills to make the changes required to save our planet.

“Sustainability is intrinsically important to the coming generation,” McGuire says.

“But wanting to tackle sustainability in a career isn’t enough. Students need to have a critical mindset to be able to evaluate, analyze, and present data effectively.”

Grand Plans In Milan: P&Q’s Interview With Federico Frattini, Dean Of POLIMI Graduate School Of Management

2022 In Review: The Stories You May Have Missed

Federico Frattini

It has been a busy two years for Federico Frattini. Appointed dean of one of Italy’s premier business schools at just 39 in 2020, he has presided over the introduction of cutting-edge new programs, including a newly revamped and repurposed MBA, as well as a digitalization effort that includes the launch of a pioneering AI platform.

But the biggest change began soon after Frattini took over, and continues this year. Frattini’s B-school, MIP Politecnico di Milano, rebranded to become POLIMI Graduate School of Management, a move that involved more than a name change for a B-school founded 43 years ago: It was part of a strategic plan and “repositioning” to become a school “recognized as one of the most innovative business schools,” Frattini says, “and because of its commitment to building a more equitable, inclusive and mindful society.”

For Indiana Kelley & Major League Soccer, The Goal Is Helping Players Off The Soccer Pitch

2022 In Review: The Stories You May Have Missed

Indiana University Kelley School of Business has a goal: to help current and former Major League Soccer players prepare for a future off of the field.

In a program similar to the school’s eight-year partnership with the NFL Players Association, the B-school is teaming up with the MLS Players Association to provide athletes with an opportunity to earn an MBA. The Kelley School will offer MLS players an entirely online education in a flexible format — meaning current players won’t have to choose between school and athletics because they can build their education around their soccer schedule, and former players will have a unique opportunity to further both their personal and professional skills to thrive in the business world.

At Wharton, Building A New Coalition For Equity & Opportunity

2022 In Review: The Stories You May Have Missed

Kenneth Shropshire

If he’s known for anything, Kenneth Shropshire – lawyer, author, longtime Wharton professor – figures he’s known for sports.

He played football at Stanford, was an executive with the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee, and worked with the NFL and Major League Baseball on diversity. For part of his 30 years at The Wharton School, he was director of the Wharton Sports Business Initiative.

His sub-focus, though, was always on equity and opportunity in sports, he tells Poets&Quants.

On July 1, he returned to Wharton after a five-year hiatus to focus on equity and opportunity full time. He is the faculty lead of the new Coalition for Equity & Opportunity (Wharton CEO), and is serving as senior advisor to dean Erika James.

How Vanderbilt Owen Got Marketing Down To A Science

2022 In Review: The Stories You May Have Missed

“In the age of the Internet, marketing has become a science of speed and precision,” Forbes declared a decade ago. Over the ensuing 10 years, advances in consumer analytics technology have made marketing more data-driven and technical than ever, and business schools are constantly updating their curricula to provide students with the skills they need to succeed in the modern business landscape.

Marketing students at the Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management were already taking courses focused on the STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — side of marketing. Now, two Owen programs have the certification to prove it, and students will get to reap the benefits.

Starting this fall, MBA students seeking a STEM degree at the Owen School have the option to pursue a new MBA concentration called “Consumer Psychology and Marketing Analytics.” Meanwhile, the school’s entire Master of Marketing is now STEM-certified, as well.

The P&Q Interview: Douglas Diamond, Chicago Booth’s Newest Nobel Laureate

2022 In Review: The Stories You May Have Missed

Douglas Diamond

Douglas Diamond was awoken by a phone call just before 4 a.m. on October 10. A person with a Swedish accent informed the University of Chicago Booth School of Business finance professor that he’d just won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences.

Diamond wasn’t convinced.

“I was thinking it was probably the real thing, but you never know,” Diamond says. He wondered if it might have been one of his friends pranking him.

But it was no prank. Diamond had been named the winner of the 2022 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences, sharing the prize with his research collaborator Philip Dybvig and former chair of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke. By the time three of the five members of the Nobel Committee had congratulated Diamond on the call, he was convinced that “it was probably the real thing,” he tells Poets&Quants.


Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.